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If you find yourself surrounded by clutter, it may be sapping more productivity than you realize.
The good news is we are focusing our tips and advice on helping you find secrets to increasing productivity by reducing the clutter in your life.
Follow these 5 simple steps for decluttering your workspace:
1) Choose Your Workspace
Start by identifying your most frequently used workspaces. Think for a second about the 2 or 3 primary areas where you spend the most time trying to get things done. It might be your office desk, your car, or even your kitchen sink – these are places you should focus the most energy on decluttering.
2) Take the First Step
The first step is one you can take right now. Flip open your personal planner or planning software like Outlook and schedule yourself a 30 minute appointment. Then, depending on the size of your workspace, schedule a similar appointment for the next few days.
What’s important here to remember: chopping your declutter time into smaller chunks keeps you from becoming overwhelmed – the likely reason your clutter has grown in the first place.
3) Attack the Source
When your declutter appointment arrives, start at clutter source. What’s causing your clutter?
- Is your inbox overflowing?
- Are incomplete projects and loose ends sitting around?
- Bills and invoices taking up space?
- Odds and ends scattered everywhere?
When you find the cause of your clutter, you’re finding your pain point.
Once you’ve established the reason for your mess, you’re that much closer to finding a solution.
4) Decide and Conquer
Now take action. This is a vital step: you must make confident decisions where your decluttered objects will now go.
- Paper piles: choose file, trash, or recycle
- Mail: choose read, pay bill, file, trash, or recycle
- Tools: sort by importance and establish a permanent “home” for each
- Random items: store together less commonly used items
Expand out from the focal point of clutter and organize immediate surrounding areas. Remember: the actions you take now are the rules for where things are kept in the future.
That way, you can prevent clutter from forming again.
5) Use Fingertip Management
When decluttering, Fingertip Management is a great rule to live by. The idea here is to keep only your most important items within an arm’s reach of your workspace.
Here are some examples:
- Desktop surface: keep only 3 pens, planner or notebook, inbox tray, keyboard and mouse – the rest can go in nearby drawers and storage cabinets
- Bathroom vanity: prioritize storage by amount of use – only frequently used items stay on the counter top (the average person uses a toothbrush less than 5 minutes per day… does it need to sit out?)
- Workshop: keep your main tools and supplies at hand, keep others in bins sorted by project type
Start Decluttering Today
Having a decluttered workspace will dramatically increase your ability to get things done two ways: 1) Increases your ability to find files, tools, and information that are important right now. 2) Maximizes your available workspaces, thus making it easier to spread out and be productive – not boxed-in by clutter.
Take a stand on your clutter this week. Start by scheduling some time-saving, clutter-killing appointments today.